Alongside David Clegg, Assistant Coach, Willie Poching, Draws A Line Under The Wakefield Game, And Looks Ahead To The Visit Of Castleford
There can be few Salford fans who did not experience some degree of disappointment at the end of Sunday’s encounter at Wakefield, particularly with it being a case of ‘so near yet so far’, with the Red Devils appearing to have the game within their grasp, only to let it slip in the dying moments.
For players and coaches, though, that disappointment must be all the more intense, with their having given their all, both physically and mentally, in what, in the end, turned out to be a most dispiriting turn of events.
Assistant Coach, Willie Poching summed up the universal feelings from within the dressing room, thus:
“It was extremely frustrating, especially in the first half, in the way we failed to control the game and then conceded a couple of tries. When we had our chances at the other end of the field, we weren’t quite on the money, which also was really disappointing. We did really well in defending our line, but we had to do too much of it, and they ended up breaking us down, twice, before half time.
“Brave and courageous is how I would sum up our second half performance, and we built up that ten point buffer which we should have held onto. Full credit, though, to Wakefield for fighting back and stealing it at the end, but we should not have got into that situation at all.”
Circumstances, nevertheless, had conspired to create the utmost difficulties during that opening forty, being reduced to twelve men for a half of it owing to the sin-binnings of Lama Tasi and Logan Tomkins, alongside an overwhelming penalty count against us. With all the extra tackling which that presented, it is little wonder that energy levels were somewhat drained, towards the end.
“The over-riding factor for us was our discipline,” Willie agrees. “We can only focus on the things we, ourselves, can control, so we need to clean up our act, in this area. We have spoken about it and we know we cannot have this happening again.”
Once the players had got to grips, in the second half, they hit a purple patch, which turned the game on its head, and seemed, at the time, to be portending a most emphatic victory for the Red Devils.
“It certainly showed the character in the side that they could come back and turn the game around like that,” he maintains. “We even looked quite comfortable in scoring those three tries, and we had Wakefield struggling. All we had to do was continue to apply the pressure.”
Unfortunately, we all reckoned without a couple of individual errors, which allowed Trinity back into the game.
“Those were as a result of all the extra work the players had had to do in the first half. We had had an opportunity to get the result but we didn’t take,” is his summing up.
With the visit of Castleford, this coming Sunday, we all know that we shall be facing the in-form side in the whole of Super League.
“They are absolutely flying at the moment, with a special brand of football,” Willie assesses. “I’m sure Daryl Powell, their coach, is really happy with the way they are playing. Along with the additions to the squad they have brought in, over the close season, they look really exciting, this season, and have set a marker for everybody.
“It should be a good game for us to test ourselves in, and will require everybody to be at their best, regardless of what happens. It is a game we are really relishing.”
Castleford’s success, built over a period of three or four years with consistency in personnel both on the field and behind the scenes, provides a model for other clubs, including ourselves, to follow, in order to achieve the success we all crave.
“Daryl Powell, since he came in, has done a fantastic job,” Willie considers. “He’s made some smart decisions to get them to the point that they are now at. They’ve been getting close for the past couple of years.
“What we need, now, is a little more consistency both on and off the field. Our new Chief Exec, Ian Blease, is doing a fantastic job in building the club up, off the field. If you are doing things right in that area of the club, there is a good chance it will be mirrored on the field, too.
“We are going in the right direction, with a young coach in Ian Watson leading the way towards providing the people of Salford with a team they can be proud of, not just in the short term, but for quite some time to come.”
Referee – Mr P Bentham
Touch Judges – J Smith, M Wise
In Goal Judges – J Jones, J Butterfield
Reserve – N Woodward